Sonali Kolhatkar, author "Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence," argues that "the sheer presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan has caused an increase in violence in the last five years." She tells us that troops are "going door to door, kicking down doors. They're rounding up men in communities. They're detaining them, they're torturing them, they're taking intelligence from one set of tribal leaders who might have troubles with their neighbors....They're claiming to kill Taliban soldiers when they don't even know who the Taliban really is."
Also, we speak with Georgetown professor Fathali Moghaddam on Iran. He argues that to fully understand today's U.S.-Iran conflict, we have to look to history. "Iran hasn't really gotten over the U.S. backing of the Shah, and the U.S. hasn't really gotten over the hostage-taking, the bombings in Lebanon, the killings of U.S. Marines, and unfortunately, this whole interaction has been going downhill because neither side has been able to get beyond the bare emotions."
Plus, "Republican War on Science" author Chris Mooney tells us that it's time for scientists to publicly fight right-wing misinformation on science. He says many scientists have "ivory tower syndrome. They know people like themselves, and they communicate very well with people like themselves, but the great unwashed masses of the United States...they're like, 'Who are these wierd people who don't get evolution, and what can we possibly say to them?' Well, they're our fellow Americans, and we're going to have to communicate with them eventually, or these rifts are never going to go away."
Home foreclosure rates tripled in the '80s and '90s and never went back down. Why? Alyssa Katz blames bankers, brokers, and speculators who are willing to do anything to close a deal -- even fabricate loan application information for a home buyer they know will soon lose their house to foreclosure. Finally, intrepid reporter Morey Meniscus returns from "unpaid administrative leave" for our weekly dose of comedy.